A brain injury rehabilitation centre has launched into the future with a new name, new logo and strengthened philosophy.

The Stewart Centre officially became Strive Rehabilitation Manawatu during a ceremony last week, which included a speech from Otago University's Professor Thomas Elston.

The 25-year-old specialises in neuro-science and told the large crowd his research on the brain had found evidence there was a real need for rehabilitation.

"Change can happen ... work here can last."


He became fascinated with the brain when he found he was lost in thoughts he couldn't explain.

"I wanted to know why I was thinking the way I was. For me it was a journey of self-discovery. I've learnt everyone experiences reality in a similar physiological way."

Professor Elston said they had found brain injuries disrupted connections in the brain, however these could be repaired.

Strive Rehabilitation Manawatu service manager Terry Lloyd-West said they worked with an average of 40 clients on a regular basis, offering a variety of treatments.

The charitable trust, which takes referrals and walk-ins, tailors its programmes to each individual's needs and looks to their support person or families for input.

"It can really hard for families once you are out of the hospital system and back in the community," Mr Lloyd-West said. "There really is very little out there for them."

The centre works on cognitive, behavioural, psychological and physical skills. They offer group therapy and believe in a therapeutic approach.

"Some people stay with us a while and others for a short time. We have a lovely physiotherapist who uses tai chi and we also do some one-on-one work."

Clients are encouraged to show independence and self-determination, and the centre strives to tap into their passions.

"Social rehab is also quite a big thing," Mr Lloyd-West said. "Many who come here are quite isolated, their primary relationships often don't last and they don't really go out into the community.

"We look to change that."

Strive Rehabilitation Manawatu, 38 West St, Palmerston North. Monday to Friday, 8.30am — 3.30pm. Call (06) 354-6728.